What Has Slowed Down Universal Usage of the Electronic Health Record

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First of all, it's expensive. Second of all, there are, like almost everything else, they are electronic, there's no advantage unless it's networked. I've got electronic health record, but if I can't send that electronic record to someone else or I can't get a X-ray electronically or a lab test electronically, or send my pharmaceutical prescription electronically.

I've spent a lot of money, and it's not very useful. So one of the great advantages, and this didn't occur in the Affordable Care Act but occurred in the Recovery Act. The financial incentives for everyone to get electronic health records and begin setting up the network and begin exchanging health information among providers.

That's absolutely essential. That creates the network and then the real issue is once you got this crude network let's face it. It's still at the crude stage to upgrade it and constantly improve it so that it is like phones. The reason it was difficult is doctors didn't have a financial incentive to adopt them.

They are relatively small businesses and so they did not see it in their interest. I think the financial incentives contained in the recovery act were essential to getting every one on board, and probably more important than that, the notion that you're going to be penalized come 2015 if you don't have electronic health records is I think very important.